Thursday, December 15, 2005

The "Culture Wars"???

Ford has announced that it will advertise in GLBT publications. Okay, after sitting down with advocates on both sides of the 'argument', Ford has decided that GLBT money is as green as anyone else's - fair enough, they are a business.

What really grabbed my attention was this news release from the American Family Association. Particularly baffling to me (being a mere Canadian), was the following statement:

“All we wanted was for Ford to refrain from choosing sides in the cultural war, and supporting groups which promote same-sex marriage is not remaining neutral,” Wildmon stated.


What in hell is "the cultural war"?! - Is it the fight going on in my fridge between two tubs of yogurt that I should have thrown out months ago?

The "Religious Reich" needs to learn a little bit of intellectual honesty here. Civil rights debate and agitation is not war. To call it such is about as distorting as you can get. Of course, calling it something else would mean that they might have to admit that it's about "imposing their 'divinely inspired' will on the rest of the world", and "preserving their right be uninformed bigots". Of course, I doubt that would bring in the donations at nearly the same rate, would it.

What would happen if instead of "homosexual agenda", they were fighting their "war" against the "black agenda", or the "feminine agenda"? How long would it take before someone took them out and slapped them upside the head until they shut up? (Oh - wait - clowns like this would still be writing)

Would the AFA have demanded that Ford not advertise in Ms. Magazine?

The AFA - along with the other wing-nut organizations fighting this so-called war - are no better than than the KKK or other groups that fought against the civil rights movements in the 1950's and 1960's. They stand behind slogans like "tradition" and "family values", but really, they are doing little more than repeating the past.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

But... everything is cultural - and everything has a perspective. Perhaps they should refrain from running ads in the Herald or the Sun because they might be a little too "Conservative" and that might be a problem of taking sides in the "cultural war". Scary thought boys and girls!

Where are we as a society when we discriminate against openmindedness and those who chose not to support segregation. Oops, maybe I ought to refrain from voicing my opinions, and docily move to the back of the bus, mahstah.

Grog said...

The problem is that like segregation, the AFA's arguments and positions rely upon the notion of holding specific groups of people as "second tier" citizens, based not upon any rational facts per se, but only upon their particular understanding of Biblical Scripture. (an understanding that is far from universally shared by Chrisitans)

I don't know what it is about these people, but like the classic schoolyard bully characters, they seem to be desperately in need of a group that they can look down upon from their 'high horse'.

op-ed said...

Grog: Civil rights debate and agitation is not war. To call it such is about as distorting as you can get.

No, this is about as distorting as you can get:
The AFA - along with the other wing-nut organizations fighting this so-called war - are no better than than the KKK or other groups that fought against the civil rights movements in the 1950's and 1960's.

And speaking of ironies, how about this whopper:
I don't know what it is about these people, but like the classic schoolyard bully characters, they seem to be desperately in need of a group that they can look down upon from their 'high horse'.

Looks like you've found someone to "look down upon from your 'high horse'," just "like the classic schoolyard bully characters." :-)

Too bad the only high horse you could find is a lie. Nobody has the civil right to neuter marriage.

Grog said...

Op-Ed:

1) The following is my opinion:

e AFA - along with the other wing-nut organizations fighting this so-called war - are no better than than the KKK

I am making a statement about how I perceive their approach to the debate. I am not saying that they are the KKK, but rather that their position has no more moral authority in my view than various racist organizations did. It is not a distortion - it is my opinion.

2) You missed something - I wasn't talking about the marriage debate. Although the AFA's press release specifically mentioned it, it is quite clear from a lot of AFA's other literature that they are (not unlike FOTF), deeply opposed to any overt expression of homosexuality. (They are opposed to a lot of things, but they reserve a particularly vile level of contempt for sexual minorities)

Their attitude towards these groups is hostile and advocates marginalization and direct discrimination. This is what I take exception to. (Consider the message that AFA is pushing - "Do business with a gay group or business, and we'll try to bully you into not doing business with them" - if that isn't advocating marginalization, I don't know what is - and it is little different from the behaviour seen so often in schoolyards)

Too bad the only high horse you could find is a lie. Nobody has the civil right to neuter marriage.

So, I'm lying about the behaviour of the AFA? No, I don't think so.

As for the validity of the arguments over same gender marriage, that's another topic altogether - and one that I doubt we'd agree on much of anything.

Civil rights issues are often complex and subtle. In Canada, the real underlying issue is one of the existing bodies of legislation that reference 'marriage' or 'spouse' in a wide range of contexts where the courts have already ruled that the constitutional foundation is contrary to the law itself. I do not profess to know enough about US law to make a reasonable estimation of whether legalizing same-gender marriage would remedy similar issues.

Anonymous said...

I followed Op-Ed's link. It's that old chestnut about how banning same-sex marriage isn't really discriminatory because GBLTs can always get married in the so-called traditional way (i.e. a man, regardless of his sexuality, can get married to a woman, regardless of her sexuality).

It's horse-shit because it supposes that two consenting adults can get married in some cases but not in others. Gays can get married, except to their lovers. It was base sophistry when I heard Jason Kenney spout it. It was base sophistry when I heard a friend repeat it, and it's base sophistry now.

You don't address two points. Perhaps you can for me:

1) How does same-sex marriage affect/water down/neuter (your term, not mine) a normal marriage in any way? Do the couples in question suddenly love each other less or become somehow less devoted when Adam and Steve down the street, or across the country get married?

2) How is it any of your business? A referendum on same-sex marriage? Awesome - when do I get to vote on your marriage?

Ultimately my advise remains the same - if you don't support gay marriage, don't marry a gay. Simple rule really.

Quixote

On Lawn said...

regardless of his sexuality

Which is the way it should be, shouldn't it (though one can never say for sure what a vague statement like "sexuality" means)? Its the hands-off government style that lets people make their own choices and get the rewards/failures that result. Marriage doesn't discriminate against anyone. Someone who wants to neuter marriage is putting as good a face they can on making marriage happen "because" of sexuality.

two consenting adults can get married in some cases but not in others

Some people's assumptions are better than other's "facts" then. No matter how many people want to marry Niki Cox, and no matter how many people she wants to marry she can only marry one at a time. You can't marry siblings. I'm not sure where you are coming from to think that anything goes.

Anonymous said...

You quoted "two consenting adults" but your response shows you don't actually know what "two", "consenting" or "adult" actually means.

You also failed to address the two points I wanted addressed - namely how does the actions of uninvolved strangers "neuter" other people's marriages and why is it any of your business.

Don't worry, I'm not really expecting a response, just more ad hominem attacks. Knock yourself out.

Quixote

op-ed said...

Quixote: It's that old chestnut about how banning same-sex marriage isn't really discriminatory

No it wasn't. Since your reading skills are so weak, try your computer skills. Search for the word "discriminatory" and you'll find I don't talk about "discriminatory" at all.

What I do talk about is arguing honestly, and it is clear you completely missed that point as you go on to string together lie after lie in your support of your position. Lies which I directly addressed in the article you claimed to have read.

I do not rule out the possibility that some rational argument for neutered marriage exists. To date, however, I have only heard arguments based on lies. Your response reinforces that sentiment.

op-ed said...

Grog: I am making a statement about how I perceive their approach to the debate. ... It is not a distortion - it is my opinion.

As you are using the same approach to the debate, I take it it is not a distortion, in your opinion, to say that you are no better than the KKK.

As for the validity of the arguments over same gender marriage, that's another topic altogether - and one that I doubt we'd agree on much of anything.

It's not agreement that I'm seeking. I want someone to make an honest argument for neutered marriage. If you feel you can, I'd be interested in hearing it. If you think any of the lies I've outlined so far are true, feel free to correct me. As you'll notice from the comment section, not one correction to date. Otherwise, make your argument without the lies.

op-ed said...

Quixote: You also failed to address the two points I wanted addressed

You can't be serious. Those two points are directly addressed in the lies article.

Now you address my two points. If universities were required to issue diplomas to anyone who could write the letters P-h-D on a piece of paper,

1) How would that affect anybody else's diploma? Would they suddenly become less educated or less informed just because Adam and Steve down the street or across the country drew their own diplomas with a crayon?

2) How is it any of your business? A referendum on crayon diplomas? Awesome - when do I get to vote on your diploma?

Ultimately my advise remains the same - if you don't support crayon diplomas, don't get one. Simple rule really.

Don't worry, I'm not really expecting a response, just more ad hominem attacks. Knock yourself out.

Grog said...

Op-Ed:

My comments on your assertions are here

Please refrain from engaging in snide commentary and ad-hominem attacks - as far as I'm concerned, both are inappropriate.

I'd prefer the debate remain above the level of a middle-school gym class argument.

op-ed said...

Grog: Please refrain from engaging in snide commentary and ad-hominem attacks - as far as I'm concerned, both are inappropriate.

Grog, as nothing I have said is either snide or ad-hominem [sic], I assume your statement is intended to be preemptive.

Grog said...

Too bad the only high horse you could find is a lie. Nobody has the civil right to neuter marriage.

No it wasn't. Since your reading skills are so weak, try your computer skills.

That's about as snide as I can imagine - and you are going after the person, not the argument.

Yes, my intent was also pre-emptive - attack the argument, that's fine. Attack the person making that argument, and I lose patience very quickly. Take the level of the debate up a few notches.

On Lawn said...

You quoted "two consenting adults" but your response shows you don't actually know what "two", "consenting" or "adult" actually means.

I mean two people who concent to marrying each other...

-- No matter how many people want to marry Niki Cox, and no matter how many people she wants to marry she can only marry one at a time. --

If you have another meaning, it would be better to state it. By not specifying how you come to such a presumtuous and gratuitous conclusion depends on people's will to believe you overcomes their sense of reason.

op-ed said...

Too bad the only high horse you could find is a lie. Nobody has the civil right to neuter marriage.

That is a direct attack on the argument.

No it wasn't. Since your reading skills are so weak, try your computer skills.

Ok, that may have been a little snide, but it is an inference based on the actual argument. The context of this comment was an abusive misstatement of what I had written elsewhere. This strawman approach to argumentation is a personal afront and had already debased the conversation far more than my response ever could.

That's about as snide as I can imagine...

Then you have a pretty weak imagination. After all, I could have called him the moral equivalent of the KKK.